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chuckdee

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I don't have the physical copy yet, just the complete PDF. I love the game, a lot. There's essentially nothing I don't like, plus some parts that are, frankly, spectacular (like the setting, some aspects of char gen, social combat generally, and the magic system).
The only things I don't like are the same things I don't like in general about Gumshoe, so to me it's also a homerun.
 

chuckdee

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What are those things? Just curious.
The fact that everything is based on Skill and the character's attributes/traits have no bearing is the largest one. I know it's a conceit of the system as laid out, i.e. from the SRD - "GUMSHOE focuses not on your character’s innate traits, but on what they can actually do in the course of a storyline. Why they can do it is up to each player. Your characters are as strong, fast, and good-looking as you want them to be," but it's limiting in some cases.
 

Fenris-77

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The fact that everything is based on Skill and the character's attributes/traits have no bearing is the largest one. I know it's a conceit of the system as laid out, i.e. from the SRD - "GUMSHOE focuses not on your character’s innate traits, but on what they can actually do in the course of a storyline. Why they can do it is up to each player. Your characters are as strong, fast, and good-looking as you want them to be," but it's limiting in some cases.
Well, I guess that notionally true, but IMO the end result is not actually that much different from, say, 5E D&D in some ways. Let me explain. So in D&D you have (say) a high Dexterity. That does indeed give you a decent roll at Dex-based stuff without reference to skills. However, most actions you take will be governed by a skill (straight stat checks are not how actions happen generally, and certainly not for anything your character is good at). This means that your Dex is actually reflected by the base stat plus applicable skills taken as a total (since that's what you're rolling most often). A related point is that in char gen (in any game) players tend to take skills that match up, to some degree, with the associated stats. So high dex characters tend to also have Dex skills, and more of them. Gumshoe is just shoving all those notions directly into the skill part. If I want a guy who climbs walls I take Athletics, and the notion of 'high dex' is built right into that. It is certainly true that you could say your Gumshoe PC is 'high dex' (or whatever) without any dex-indexed skills but it doesn't actually matter unless you have the skills that reflect it, much the same way that a high stat in other games doesn't really mean much unless you add the matching skills to it.

I realize that it's not exactly the same, I'm just suggesting that the end result at the table is more similar than it might look at first blush.

As a caveat, the above is only true of stat+skill games. Something B/X, or any other game where it's stat checks for actions the above obviously doesn't apply.
 

chuckdee

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I realize that it's not exactly the same, I'm just suggesting that the end result at the table is more similar than it might look at first blush.
The first time it bothered me was when I started using it for more fantastical stuff- like my Eclipse Phase game. Where the stats and skills come from become more important when you have that variety of sources. And having a raw stat vs stat+skill rolled up into one becomes more obvious in those cases.

much the same way that a high stat in other games doesn't really mean much unless you add the matching skills to it.
But it does mean something. In most games, without the matching skills, you're still better with a high dex than not. And in some cases, when compared to someone with a low level of skill and a low Dex, you can actually be better than the person with the skill.
 

chuckdee

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They have a book and bundled in is a PDF, but there isn't a PDF only.
They have one, but it's disabled right now for some reason. You might try to contact them- it might be because they're in the midst of fulfillment, but it definitely does look like they plan to offer just the PDF.
 

Fenris-77

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The first time it bothered me was when I started using it for more fantastical stuff- like my Eclipse Phase game. Where the stats and skills come from become more important when you have that variety of sources. And having a raw stat vs stat+skill rolled up into one becomes more obvious in those cases.


But it does mean something. In most games, without the matching skills, you're still better with a high dex than not. And in some cases, when compared to someone with a low level of skill and a low Dex, you can actually be better than the person with the skill.
I agree that the obviousness of stat plus skill differs from game to game, as does the mechanical importance or usefulness of the raw stat by itself. I'm not sure that where the stats and skills come from is actually that important, or at least that having a discrete stat to point to is important. Your liking for it seems to be that you have a measurable thing to point to in terms of describing your PCs raw ability. My thought there is that it doesn't matter except in how it influences my characters ability to do or not do something, or the relative ease with which I can accomplish those things. I think that my impression there stems from a pretty significant dislike for the somewhat arbitrary nature of binary stat+skill pairing. To circle back to climbing walls for a moment, and back to D&D, is climbing walls a STR related thing, or a DEX related thing, or perhaps a mixture that differs from notional person to person? Is Intimidation a CHA related thing, or can it be expressed using STR instead? In both those cases I dislike having to pick as it seems, at least at some level, counter intuitive. I care more about what is my character good at. In Gumshoe (well, SotS specifically, I'm not actually speaking to Gumshoe more broadly) I know how good I am at the various actions and task that define my PCs abilities, and my character concept fills in the precise raw 'stat' background for me, but without having to push against an arbitrary set of you need X to be good at Y, but A to be good at B, when both Y and A don't really seem like they admit binary solutions of that sort.

I'm not trying to convince your that you likes and dislikes are correct or incorrect btw, I'm just trying to probe at the ground we're both trying to describe and why we like X and Y instead of X and X. You're going to keep on liking what you like, as you should. :thumbsup:

As for the second point, sure, high Dex can make you better at something that low Dex and low skill. Dex is just a generic expression of coordination and whatnot though, essentially a baseline of how good you are at set of actions X though, so simply being good at those same actions is mechanically identical. Just as low skill in those same actions expresses a lack of fundamental ability or skill in some mixture. I think the main difference here is that I don't really care about separating the rationale for being good at X into raw ability + training.
 

urbwar

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I got my print copy of Tezca Sentai in the mail yesterday, as well as the pdf for Era: Hitman 1.1. Print to follow. Also got word that my copy of Dark Horrors & Hidden Places (Scenematic version) is shipping.

I also bought some pdf files from Drivethru. A Western rpg called Cowpunchers (they have an SRD, and I liked that, so figured why not get the whole game), Exceptional Youth Camp (another game for PocketQuest, set in some kind of Soviet-era camp for exceptional youth), Enhanced (some superhero rpg I saw), Wild West Cinema (I have the print book, so figured it was time to get the pdf), some more stock art, and the 2D20 SRD (to see what it's like)
 

SJB

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They have one, but it's disabled right now for some reason. You might try to contact them- it might be because they're in the midst of fulfillment, but it definitely does look like they plan to offer just the PDF.
Kevin Kulp posting on 15 July: “Hardcover available now, PDF available September 1.”
 

chuckdee

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Kevin Kulp posting on 15 July: “Hardcover available now, PDF available September 1.”
That seems a long lag time- I wonder why? Especially since pre-orders already have the PDF?
 

SJB

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That seems a long lag time- I wonder why? Especially since pre-orders already have the PDF?
Well, it’s been a slow roll throughout. Interesting to note the companies that can deliver product on time.

 

Baulderstone

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That seems a long lag time- I wonder why? Especially since pre-orders already have the PDF?
It's standard practice at Pelgrane to have a window where only the hardcopy available for a while before allowing PDF-only sales. I think it's a legacy of the early, fearful days of PDF RPGs, and they could probably let it go at this point.
 

chuckdee

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Well, it’s been a slow roll throughout. Interesting to note the companies that can deliver product on time.

This isn't even production though. I think Baulderstone has the right of it.
 

AsenRG

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I got Wyrd Sails awhile back. Viking vs. Deep Ones and other Cthulhian horrors. It's a supplement for the Everywhen ruleset. I haven't had a chance to try it out but it looks like it will be fun.

View attachment 47912
"By Chtulhu, a human that's fuglier than me!"
"I can remove that helmet, fish-face!"
"And it speaks!"
 
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Acmegamer

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Against the Darkmaster rpg stuff came in. Two were pdf only and I printed them up but haven't put them into a binder yet. I'm so busy with other rpg stuff though, that I won't get a chance to read through it for a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing how they adapted and improved MERP though when I do get a chance. Damn the main core book is thick.

Against the Darkmaster Rpg 01.jpg
 

sharps54

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The mechanics are giving me a Traveller/Cepheus vibe, would that be wrong?
A little but close enough. Everywhen is a 2d6 +attribute or combat ability +/- modifiers meet or beat 9 to succeed system.
I’m not a huge fan of some of the changes to Barbarians of Lemuria but it is still a decent game.
 

Acmegamer

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Also a one book from Columbia Games, which I only had in pdf and figured I'd get since they're making noises like it might not be in print any longer. Oh and snagged two items from eBay, my fascination with DnD 4e continues, snagged Tomb of Horrors for shits and giggles to read through. And one more book down on my list of old Avalon Hill era RuneQuest 3e books, Eldarad. It was in great condition and complete which is a must for me. I think I'm down to a last four or five missing Avalon Hill era RQ items, minor books if I recall.

HarnPlayer Eldarad 4e Tomb of Horrors.jpg
 

Acmegamer

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I've always maintained that BoL and Cepheus are rather close, but Everwhen is what you get when you mix Barbarians of Lemuria with GURPS:thumbsup:.
Well hell, now I might have to get Everwhen! LOL


edit: Because of AsenRG AsenRG , I've now added Everwhen. Because of Narmer Narmer I've added Wyrd Sails to my get list as well. lol Damn you guys.
 
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Acmegamer

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Last up, with no warning on my porch was a thick box full of the Vaesen Mythic Britain & Ireland Kickstarter. I'm actually really irked, Funagain who is shipping this stuff for Free League Publishing gave me no freaking heads up or tracking notification. I bitched at Free League about it. Funagain has been a total mixed bag at best for each Kickstarter in the last year. <sigh>

I get worried about theft on the porch during the summer months with bored kids roaming around off and on all day long so I keep close track of packages. Not getting a notification really pisses me off. Same thing happened with these guys last Kickstarter as well.

On the Kickstarter, the books are beautiful as per the norm for Free League and I'd not backed their Vaesen Kickstarter originally (I was being silly) so I snagged the missing items with this current Kickstarter. Never a regret with Free Leagues with the actual books.

Vaesen Mythic Britain & Ireland Kickstarter and other Vaesen books.jpg
 

Narmer

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Well hell, now I might have to get Everwhen! LOL


edit: Because of AsenRG AsenRG , I've now added Everwhen. Because of Narmer Narmer I've added Wyrd Sails to my get list as well. lol Damn you guys.
Honestly, though I like Everywhen and it malleable generic nature, I prefer Barbarians of Lemuria. Everywhen added a few things and I like BoL's simplicity.
 

Mankcam

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Against the Darkmaster rpg stuff came in. Two were pdf only and I printed them up but haven't put them into a binder yet. I'm so busy with other rpg stuff though, that I won't get a chance to read through it for a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing how they adapted and improved MERP though when I do get a chance. Damn the main core book is thick.

View attachment 47916

Back in the 80s/90s I was our BRP GM (RQ/CoC) - so as a player I only owned the MERP book - but my mate was our ICE GM (MERP/ RM).
We totally loved it as teens in the late 1980s. Spent many sessions playing MERP, then moving onto RM2.
All that era of ICE games were really great - RM 2 Shadow World was our AD&D Greyhawk/Forgotten Realms

So having a new version of the ICE rules is really cool - especially since the foundation is based on MERP, which I think is superior to RM - and I love the fact that they nailed the Classic Fantasy vibe down to a tee!

I backed Against The Darkmaster when it first came out, so I might head over to DrivethruRPG to order those scenarios that you have there
Thanks for the reminder! :shade:
 
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Mankcam

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Last up, with no warning on my porch was a thick box full of the Vaesen Mythic Britain & Ireland Kickstarter. I'm actually really irked, Funagain who is shipping this stuff for Free League Publishing gave me no freaking heads up or tracking notification. I bitched at Free League about it. Funagain has been a total mixed bag at best for each Kickstarter in the last year. <sigh>

I get worried about theft on the porch during the summer months with bored kids roaming around off and on all day long so I keep close track of packages. Not getting a notification really pisses me off. Same thing happened with these guys last Kickstarter as well.

On the Kickstarter, the books are beautiful as per the norm for Free League and I'd not backed their Vaesen Kickstarter originally (I was being silly) so I snagged the missing items with this current Kickstarter. Never a regret with Free Leagues with the actual books.

View attachment 47918
I have the Vaesen core book, but haven't had time to give it a deep dive yet - I must say that it is a beautifully produced hardcover.
The artwork is very evocative, and production quality quite high.
It is a lovely edition to my bookcase, I must read it more when I get time.

OMG seeing those supplement books as equally beautiful hardcovers is making my wallet very nervous
I'll have to take an extra job soon! :grin:
 
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Rich H

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My new tea towels arrived...

SAM_7859.JPG

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SAM_7863.JPG

:grin: :thumbsup:

But, seriously, these Vaesen books are things of beauty. Free League have outdone themselves on this Kickstarter...

SAM_7864.JPG

SAM_7865.JPG

SAM_7866.JPG

SAM_7867.JPG

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The artwork is up there with Tony DiTerlizzi's Planescape stuff, for me, but the overall presentation (eg, clean pages, font and typeface, etc) of the books just make them a pleasure to look through and read.

Perfect stuff.
 

Mankcam

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My new tea towels arrived...

View attachment 47966

View attachment 47967

View attachment 47968

View attachment 47969

:grin: :thumbsup:

But, seriously, these Vaesen books are things of beauty. Free League have outdone themselves on this Kickstarter...

View attachment 47970

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View attachment 47974

View attachment 47975

The artwork is up there with Tony DiTerlizzi's Planescape stuff, for me, but the overall presentation (eg, clean pages, font and typeface, etc) of the books just make them a pleasure to look through and read.

Perfect stuff.
oh sweet jeezuz those books are beautiful :shade:
 

Jenx

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Another self print/bind project done. As usual with these books the cover design takes the longest. Figuring out what to put on it for the most part.

What is it?

The D&D BECMI Gazetteers. I couldn't afford them back in the day but a friend had the whole lot. Having flicked through them I thought it might be useful to use but on the whole we had our own version of the game world from years of play so forgot about it.

Why now?

I wanted to combine printed colour pages int he book and add a ribbon so looked about for something to print.

Will it get used?

Don't know. Maybe. I've kind of moved on from D&D but I like the idea of using Against the Darkmaster or MERP in something like the D&D known world. That's what I did 35+ years ago and the players really enjoyed the bloodbath criticals compared to the slicing off the hit points from the cube o points that D&D combat generally is. No matter how much effort you put into describing an injury it still boils down to '6 points of damage' in D&D.

What next?

This is Books 1-4 (Karameikos, Ylaruam, Glantri, Ierendi). I think there are 12 or 13 in total. May have to buy some of the latter ones off Drive Thru as I think I have them up to a certain point (no.8 or 9 I think?). I didn't buy them print on demand as I'm not likely to get that much use out of the majority of them.

Unconnected I plan to reprint/bind Warbirds (with the Crimson Skies variant cover). That was the 'printed for the japanese market' version I knocked out before. (It read Right to Left).


1658738625052.jpg


Cover design time takes the longest out of the whole process. Change cover image to sepia, stick a new layer of 'leather' on the top and 50% opacity. Then play about with the titles and other bits. This cover is actually 4x A4 patched together because of the thickness of the book.

1658738352794.jpg


Messed up the spine. Not wide enough. Next book will be spot on.

1658738973463.png


Front cover is Karameikos, back cover Ylaruam. Slightly distorted as I had to trim from the PDF cover. Have since found the Caldwell art without titles. Doh!

1658738352684.jpg


As usual I make a few mistakes on Book 1, corrected for the next books. Printed this map upside down on the back of...

1658738352700.jpg


This one, which folds out from the book.

1658738352716.jpg


First time adding 'colour plates' to a book. There are no real issues other than spray coating the glossy inkjet paper to protect it. It takes some of the gloss shine away but the pages would be susceptible to knocks and scratches without it. I use Auto Lacquer/Wood Varnish in spray tins at the moment, whichever I can get cheaper (£2-3 a can I think, lasts a few pages/books).

1658738352730.jpg


The Drivethru PDFs of the old TSR stuff is of variable quality. I don't think they care much for things like fuzzy scans and see through on this stuff. Despite being a 'best seller' on Drive Thru it's probably chump change to Wizards/Hasbro.

1658738352745.jpg


On the back of the Gazetteer cover I found cleaner fan made maps to put in.

1658738352764.jpg


Probably most peoples' start to the world of D&D. Karameikos was the home to the players characters for so long they eventually set up shop there with their own mini dominions/castles/towns in later years of play with the dominion rules from Companion. We were probably doing it wrong but had fun, so that's all that matters!

I must admit it's a bit of a bullet stopper at about 300 pages, not my usual approach to these things. Might trim the next few books to 3 per tome, but Glantri is the reason it's thicker this time round as the others are 64 pages and Glantri over 100.
 

Mankcam

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Another self print/bind project done. As usual with these books the cover design takes the longest. Figuring out what to put on it for the most part.

What is it?

The D&D BECMI Gazetteers. I couldn't afford them back in the day but a friend had the whole lot. Having flicked through them I thought it might be useful to use but on the whole we had our own version of the game world from years of play so forgot about it.

Why now?

I wanted to combine printed colour pages int he book and add a ribbon so looked about for something to print.

Will it get used?

Don't know. Maybe. I've kind of moved on from D&D but I like the idea of using Against the Darkmaster or MERP in something like the D&D known world. That's what I did 35+ years ago and the players really enjoyed the bloodbath criticals compared to the slicing off the hit points from the cube o points that D&D combat generally is. No matter how much effort you put into describing an injury it still boils down to '6 points of damage' in D&D.

What next?

This is Books 1-4 (Karameikos, Ylaruam, Glantri, Ierendi). I think there are 12 or 13 in total. May have to buy some of the latter ones off Drive Thru as I think I have them up to a certain point (no.8 or 9 I think?). I didn't buy them print on demand as I'm not likely to get that much use out of the majority of them.

Unconnected I plan to reprint/bind Warbirds (with the Crimson Skies variant cover). That was the 'printed for the japanese market' version I knocked out before. (It read Right to Left).


1658738625052.jpg


Cover design time takes the longest out of the whole process. Change cover image to sepia, stick a new layer of 'leather' on the top and 50% opacity. Then play about with the titles and other bits. This cover is actually 4x A4 patched together because of the thickness of the book.

1658738352794.jpg


Messed up the spine. Not wide enough. Next book will be spot on.

1658738973463.png


Front cover is Karameikos, back cover Ylaruam. Slightly distorted as I had to trim from the PDF cover. Have since found the Caldwell art without titles. Doh!

1658738352684.jpg


As usual I make a few mistakes on Book 1, corrected for the next books. Printed this map upside down on the back of...

1658738352700.jpg


This one, which folds out from the book.

1658738352716.jpg


First time adding 'colour plates' to a book. There are no real issues other than spray coating the glossy inkjet paper to protect it. It takes some of the gloss shine away but the pages would be susceptible to knocks and scratches without it. I use Auto Lacquer/Wood Varnish in spray tins at the moment, whichever I can get cheaper (£2-3 a can I think, lasts a few pages/books).

1658738352730.jpg


The Drivethru PDFs of the old TSR stuff is of variable quality. I don't think they care much for things like fuzzy scans and see through on this stuff. Despite being a 'best seller' on Drive Thru it's probably chump change to Wizards/Hasbro.

1658738352745.jpg


On the back of the Gazetteer cover I found cleaner fan made maps to put in.

1658738352764.jpg


Probably most peoples' start to the world of D&D. Karameikos was the home to the players characters for so long they eventually set up shop there with their own mini dominions/castles/towns in later years of play with the dominion rules from Companion. We were probably doing it wrong but had fun, so that's all that matters!

I must admit it's a bit of a bullet stopper at about 300 pages, not my usual approach to these things. Might trim the next few books to 3 per tome, but Glantri is the reason it's thicker this time round as the others are 64 pages and Glantri over 100.
I am totally on board for using Against The Darkmaster for the Gazetteer setting; it will port across perfectly, and the combat scenes will totally rock!
And your books are truly beautiful - your binding skills are very impressive
As a book lover I really enjoy seeing these updates! :shade:
 

Jenx

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Ah guys, honestly, it started out as following an internet guide HERE and the 'game changer' for me was getting the A3+ printer instead of covering the books in wallpaper or wrapping paper, whatever was knocking about. I have several knackered books from over the years (I've only thrown a few failed attempts out ) that remind me where I started. Even now I make a mistake with - let's say not all books - but enough to remind me I can still get better at this. Practise makes perfect and all that.

I just wanted to make some use of all those PDFs that I'm sure most of us have sat in bundles or Drive Thru accounts that never get read. Oh, and cut down the costs on what I was spending on RPGs after that beginning of the year thread where we admit how much we spend and I was like 'Wtf? Do I *really* spend that much?'

On my list o stuff to do is re-scan and layout out the Basic D&D Mentzer Players and GMs books and hardback bind them, possibly in that upside down configuration I was toying with for the Moldvay books (with the cool Erol Otus cover :heart: ) because the Wizards scans aren't great. By 'upside down' the Players book would be the front cover then you turn the book over to get to the DMs book, which is backwards to the players book in the same 128 page hardback tome. Well, it's something I fancy trying as I need to then teach myself Indesign (or a free alternative) for layouts and the like.

Another thing I keep pondering about is trying gold leaf lettering. Printing gold text is one thing, actual gold leaf stuff... well it's on the bucket list o things to learn anyway. As usual it'll be a steep learning curve but hopefully I'll get there or close.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words :heart:
 
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